Bangladesh were staring at defeat at the end of the second day at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens against hosts India in the second and final Test of the series, having reached 152 runs for the loss of six wickets.
The hosts’ bowlers were threatening to end the game on Day Two with the Tigers tottering at 14 for four after India had declared at 347 for nine. A brilliant knock from Mushfiqur Rahim, who remained unbeaten on 59 at stumps, thwarted India from ending the game inside 48 hours. The Tigers, with an impossible task, still trail by 89 runs.
India had batted themselves into a strong position on the opening day after bundling out Bangladesh for just 106 in 30.3 overs. Starting the day with an overnight score of 174 for three and Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane on song, India looked to take the game completely away from Bangladesh.
The duo starred in a 99-run partnership before Rahane played a loose shot to fall to Taijul Islam. However, India skipper Kohli was on the mark, picking up his 27th Test ton during a commanding knock in what was his first pink-ball innings.
He was sublime during his knock and it was only when Taijul Islam took a brilliant catch at square leg that he departed for 136. The pacers got a boost after Taijul’s catch and Bangladesh were able to get India to nine down before they decided to declare to test the Tigers at dusk.
Bangladesh’s second innings started in a similar manner to their first but this time they lost wickets even earlier.
The Tigers had opted to bat first, feeling that they could dictate terms by putting on a good score. While the evening is considered to be a difficult period to bat in with the pink ball moving around a lot more, Bangladesh could not even reach dusk on the first day.
This time around, they experienced the extra bounce and seam movement and wilted under it very early. Shadman Islam was the first to go, out leg-before to Ishant Sharma while captain Mominul Haque once again fell to a duck in the second innings.
The Tigers had already lost two batsmen in the form of Liton Das and Nayeem Islam to concussions. Ishant produced a short delivery that thudded onto Mohamad Mithun’s helmet to soften him up and although Mithun and Imrul Kayes survived till the end of the second session, they both fell early in the third session and Tigers were staring at defeat.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad provided resistance after the fall of four wickets. The duo ground things out till the 19th over with Riyad in particular stroking the ball well.
There was more misfortune in reserve for Bangladesh when Mahmudullah pulled his hamstring, but he is expected to return to bat today. A fighting 59 from Mushfiqur took Bangladesh to stumps but not before the visitors lost two more wickets following Riyad’s injury to leave them facing what appears to be inevitable defeat on Day Three.